When you’re dealing with Lyme disease or other tick-borne infections, it can be a daunting task to find a doctor who’s familiar with the illness throughout its various stages. Your family doctor or primary care provider (PCP) may be able treat you when your symptoms correspond to an acute case of the condition. But where do you turn for Lyme disease treatment if your illness doesn’t check the traditional boxes for the infection? Or if the disease has progressed to a later stage? That’s where a Lyme-literate medical doctor (LLMD) or Lyme specialist comes in. These physicians have additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. Here are resources to find a provider who understands your symptoms and can help guide you toward recovery. 1. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) The International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) is a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary, international medical society aimed at advancing the treatment, research, and education efforts of Lyme and associated diseases. ILADS provides training to physicians who want to enhance their skill set to evaluate and treat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Physicians who successfully complete the training requirements established by ILADS are known as Lyme-literate medical doctors, or LLMDs. To locate Lyme-literate doctors, use the Provider Search function on the ILADS website to receive a list of doctors in your area. Please note: ILADS states they don’t make referrals to specific doctors. It’s up to you to decide which practitioner is the right fit for your needs. 2. Lymedisease.org Lymedisease.org is a nonprofit group that focuses on advocacy for the Lyme patient population, as well as providing educational information and details on the latest Lyme disease research. Through their Physician Directory, you can also access a list of LLMDs nearest you. Like ILADS, Lymedisease.org does not endorse individual physicians. 3. Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) Nonprofit organization Global Lyme Alliance seeks to overcome Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections by funding research, providing education, and raising awareness about the illness in the general population and the medical community. After you submit an online form, GLA will connect you with a Lyme disease specialist near you. GLA strives to help patients from around the world find the resources they need to obtain an accurate diagnosis and access to treatment. 4. State and Local Lyme Organizations and Nonprofits If you’re unable to find an LLMD through a national organization, consider doing a web search for a state or local Lyme organization or nonprofit. Some keywords that may generate helpful, search results for you include: The name of your state “Lyme disease” “Nonprofit” For example, typing in “Minnesota Lyme disease nonprofit” yields the Minnesota Lyme Association (MLA), where you can then browse their website for ways to locate a physician or fill out the contact form for more help. These days, most states have some sort of site to distribute information to inquiring patients. 5. Facebook Support Groups Lyme disease support groups abound on Facebook: There are probably a couple hundred to choose from, including city- and state-specific forums, treatment-focused groups, and an assortment of national groups. Because people discuss the challenges they face and the symptoms they endure while living with Lyme, most groups and forums are kept on a “private” setting so others outside the group won’t see what you post. To locate a group, type a description of the kind of group you’re hoping to join, such as, “Lyme disease Iowa,” and review the selections that pop up. When you find one that interests you, request to join it. Each group may have certain posting and privacy guidelines, but once you’re a member, you can crowdsource information regarding Lyme-literate medical doctors and Lyme disease specialists who may be able to help you. Plus, you can get feedback from others about the kinds of treatments they’ve found beneficial. What Happens Next? When you call to schedule an appointment with your new doctor, be sure to ask if they accept your insurance. If not, inquire about the cost of the initial and follow-up visits. Additionally, ask if the doctor’s office can provide you with an itemized receipt so you can submit a claim to your insurance on your own for reimbursement. Finally, gather as many details as you can about the first consultation so you’re not caught off guard by unexpected expenses. Although seeing an LLMD can be pricey, it may be a necessary step to take to jumpstart or continue your healing and improve your quality of life. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable and satisfied when choosing a practitioner. If one provider doesn’t work for you, don’t lose hope—you may have to try another doctor to assist you on your road to recovery.